Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Longest Week

WOW well what a week, this honestly has felt like the longest week in the whole world, but change week always feels like that. So as you probably guessed I don’t have changes, yep that’s right I’m staying in Teculutan I’ll be here for 6 months and 4 and a half months with Elder L. I was a little ready for changes a changeup, but now that I know I’m staying here I’m ready to tear this area up!

So yesterday (Monday) we had our zone conference, they told us Thursday so it was a little short of notice but it was SO GOOD! Elder Armado is in the first q. of the seventy and now has the longest time of any of the seventy of being one of the seventy (I probably could have said that better but you understand) oh man it was so great! he is such an amazing man, there wasn’t really any form to his lesson, he let us ask questions and he would then give like 20 minute answers (the first 2 minutes was the real answer, and then the rest just whatever the spirit told him to say) it was super good, can’t really describe it more than that, but it was definitely a spiritual high! And a super motivator to work harder. After or during the conference I realized a couple things that I am going to put into practice, mainly just dedicating myself more to the work, and not getting so distracted. I’m here for two years and the Lord wants my 100% so I’m going to give it my all for all the time I have left. and I’m going to be more positive, it doesn’t matter who my comp is I am going to learn something from every single one of them, because that is why they are my comps because they have something I need to learn whether it be of what I should or should not do.

YES! I got your package!! It was AMAZING I loved the Girl Scout cookies! I’m so stoked for those! That magazine was interesting also, Desert hills seems to be doing really well with sports which is awesome!  um to answer some of your questions I haven’t baptized the 8 year old yet I still need to call the branch president over there (man am I turning into a Guatemalan but procrastinating?) so you asked about the 500 members, we are trying to visit each one and see what happened why they stopped coming, and see how we can help then, and invite them to come back, one of the ways we are doing that is inviting them to the temple, and to prepare again (because in order to go there they have to pay tithing, attend church, live the word of wisdom and chastity) so it’s all a part of a plan of Elder Perry, it is working and we are starting to activate some people, but then there are some other people that don’t want anything to do with us, and that’s a little hard, I don’t understand how they can be a member and then a couple years down the road don’t want anything. Usually what happened is they were offended by someone or something. It wasn’t that they never had a testimony (usually, we have found some cases where they admitted they never had one) it was they got baptized and didn’t have the support of the branch to adapt to the new live and continue. So we are trying to help people come back to the fold. But mainly above all like they said in conference just love them, don’t treat them any differently just love them.

I can’t believe it’s the iron man time! I’m so jealous! I want to do that so badly, but in 2 years I can be able to!

So I am now out of time, but I want you all to I love it here, and I love these people, that was another topic of the conference, they have a different culture, its dirty here (they throw trash in the streets like it’s no big deal) but just love them, and I do I love them! And I love you guys! I hope everything is going well I miss you all but I love it here sorry! I look forward to calling home! Hang in there. How is thumper doing without Shelby? And how is mitt Romney doing? You better get prepared with the Olympics coming up; I expect grand details about everything! And also about the NBA (well not grand details but up dates) tell Br. Wilcox he has his work cut out for him with the Olympics!

Mom how did your lesson go? How is everything going with everyone! WRITE ME! I now know I have almost a year because the letters have stopped now, but its ok I knew this day would come so I have been preparing for it. Hahaha just kidding, ok well until next time! I love you
Elder Call

Monday, April 16, 2012

10 Months Already!

Well I will not be sending any photos home this week because I uploaded like 200 to Picasa!!! The first 40 were from Elder Lagos camera, and then the next 151 were from mine! And mom the picture of the Catholic Church looks like the one in Google earth because they are the same one!! So I am glad you got my package, I sent the name badge home just so you guys could have an extra one, and I got that picture done at the fair that was here in like Feb, forever ago!

So from last email tax return? How much money are they going to send me? Look in Picasa because there is a photo of Shipley but you guys have already seen the photo (his p day is Saturday so I can never give a surprise that I saw him) but we were talking after the meeting about how our mommy’s are best friends. So we thought what would they like better than a PHOTO!! He is such a stud. Dad you said last week you found a cantaloupe from Guatemala, I have no doubt that it was from Zacapa (the department where I am at) so you just found a part of my life here! 
Yes this is one of the hottest areas! And yes I really am so lucky to be out of the capital for so long, but next change I will probably go in and stay in for the rest of my mission. But that’s ok I have enjoyed my time outside.  I would LOVE to go up to Barrios which is the farthest area from the capital (6 hours) it is in this zone, it is so beautiful up there that would be my dream! And when I said “arm pit” of the mission I was referring to San Jorge! (I love that place) but it was literally in the middle of nowhere, and had nothing! Looking back I loved it there! And I probably will go back to baptize a little girl who just turned 8, (if I don’t have changes, I got permission from President).

Oh man so I won’t lie, I was pretty sick yesterday, throwing up and diarrhea, we were far from the house, but luckily we were at a member’s house, oh man, it was bad, but now I feel somewhat better... I think I know what it was that made me sick, something I drank from our comedor.

I was pretty sick yesterday but I am feeling a lot better today, I drank a strawberry drink it was super good, but here it is very hard to wash the strawberries so I doubt she washed them, who knows, I’m sick of this comedor she only serves us fried food, and for this I am fat, and the beans every day. But either this Wednesday or next change I will have changes and change all that up!

This past week has been normal, nothing really, we need to make progress in our area we don’t have people progressing which is horrible. This past week we really have been focusing on the Simi or the ward directory, to find all the people that aren’t attending and have moved or died, cleaning it up, because there are 500 members here but the attendance yesterday was 61, so something isn’t adding up, so we have been doing a lot of visits with inactive and some want to come back, but most don’t want a thing to do with the church which is pretty sad.  Besides that I am doing so great! I love it out here, I have 10 months! How crazy is that, doesn’t even feel like it, but I love it out here.

Mom what is your schedule for mother’s day like the days before, because I will ask president if I can call early or a day later but I need to know your schedule. Sorry this letter is kinda all over the place and not really a good one, but I am still alive and doing great, I love it! I love and miss you guys!

Ok well I have finished writing president and the other elders have not arrived to the chapel so I will just write a quick email of ramblings.  I’m glad you enjoyed your package, I love you guys and sure to miss you! I’m so stoked to come home! But I still have a long time left, I’m not letting it distract me, I am serving with all my heart and doing what I should be doing, but I do look forward to the day I come home and can be with you guys again!
I have really liked it out side of the cap, everything is a lot more chill, I think I will also enjoy inside the cap, because I will see the other missionaries more, receive letter more often (I haven’t received letters for over a month) because it takes so much time to get them out here, and there are actual wards that know what they are doing! But I love it outside I have enjoyed it a lot, and hope I stay out longer!

There is a really good restaurant I want to take you guys to when you get here, it is so good! (And clean don’t worry) and pretty cheap (if your using dollars, but as a missionary it is expensive) ok well I love you guys! And super stoked to talk to you in a month!!! May 13th right? Let me know your schedules and I will ask president stay for permission to call home early or late, I still don’t know about Skype it depends on if I have changes or not this week but we still have time. ALRIGHT I LOVE YOU!!!
Elder Call

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A birthday gift

On Thursday April 12 I received a package from Guatemala...a wonderful birthday gift...of course I could not wait until the 14th to open it so I opened right then and there...Inside was a wonderful pencil sketch done of Chad...by whom I will have to wait until Monday's letter and then a beautiful 2 page letter expressing his love and appreciation for me...of course I cried tears of joy all day...what more could a mother want. He also sent home his missionary name tag...???

An unexpected surprise

Out of the clear blue today I received an email from Elder Shipley's mom. She and I have been corresponding because our son's are in the same mission...currently her son is AP to President Stay and I guess they have been in and around Chad's district this past week and have had meetings...she sent me this wonderful picture of her son, Elder Daniel Shipley and Chad...then she mentioned that Elder Shipley had this to say...."I sent you a picture of me and Elder Call. He was at the meeting we went to last week. He is such a nice kid. He would be an excellent comp." and then in the previous weeks blog..."The weather here is great, in the capital it feels like a regular hot summer day in San Diego, but outside the capital it is hotter than Satan’s armpit. Elder Call happens to be in one of the hotter spots of the mission, so I can see him suffering out there."

Awww, its great to hear from other's how well your son is doing...great blessing's to those that serve as well as those that support their service...I love these little blessings!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

WEH! or A La Gran

WEH! (It’s like way) I think I made that up, but it is a form of saying a la gran (but you don’t know what that means either) so it means basically oh man! This week has been a pretty crazy. First off mom the calendar that you sent me one of the quotes was this "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." -Buddha. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, it really is a huge miracle all of this, just life in general, the beauty of it, and this gospel. It made me really grateful for everything, and got me thinking about Elder Nelson’s talk about being grateful for everything. Last week we went to some waterfalls, the same as before but this time we hiked to the top and they were even more beautiful. I honestly love the outside beauty so much! And mom the premature baby you flew was crazy! It goes perfect with what I was thinking all about this week! Just super grateful for everything.

Another quote (this week had some great quotes, usually they are cheesy and things you would like but this week they were quality!) "Don’t look back" and it’s a guy choosing a fork in the road, and an arrow pointing to the other way and says "no longer an option" and another quote (good week eh?) that says "nothing is worth more than today" so think about those, I won’t give my thoughts this week you can think and ponder about them.

So my thoughts about conference... umm Elder Oaks is my uncle I swear, he looks just like Uncle Alan and Jay it is scary. I loved Elder Holland’s talk about we are in the race against sin! And envy is sin, so be kind and grateful. And be grateful that the God is kind! I really like the parable he referred to about the workers, the boss promised them their wage and when works came and worked less but got paid the same they were upset, but why? They still got paid what they were promised! We are all working for eternal life, remember envy is sin! So be stoked when other people are succeeding on their way to eternal life! And us also!

Ronald Rasband made me laugh with his example because it is so true, if we see someone drowning are we going to say "let me know how I can help" or "do you need help?” NO! Jump in and help! It’s that simple. And last but not least Elder Andersen with what does Jesus think of me? We may not be perfect every day or do our best, but if we are trying Jesus will help us, he can do for us what we can’t do! So why not let him help us? Put the atonement in practice and apply it in our lives! It’s a free gift and it is there waiting for us to pick it up! USE IT!

Oh man I really wanted to write you guys all week, I really missed you guys this last week; I love you guys and be careful! I am worried about you so please I’ll say to you what you say to me, be careful!

So this week was a really hard one as far as working, because it is semana santa, and here because the country is really catholic based (or maybe not because of that) but semana santa (holy week) is basically spring break, nationwide, and literally EVERYTHING shuts down! Even the busses and newspapers…ya that’s how big it is. The tradition is to go to the river or beach and just party, drink and relax. Because this is supposedly the hottest week, (I’d believe it) so not really anyone wanted to listen to us or they were gone, we contacted in a neighborhood Saturday afternoon and literally not one person was home. It was a tough week, but we did find a family! That has potential! So we are going back Wednesday night! Also with semana santa it is Easter but a week long, and the Catholic Church does some crazy things! One of which is called a procession which is something I have never heard of. (I am learning so much about the Catholic traditions) I attached a photo it is basically they carry this huge "float" like, I don’t know what else to call it, but on top is Jesus dead, and I don’t know what else, and then in another one behind they are carrying Mary suffering. It is different, I felt really uncomfortable, (there were so many people! and it is just so different than what I am used to) but I have definitely enjoyed learning all about the Catholic culture and traditions.

So the 2 photos of the water fall, and me climbing who knows what, (I feel free in the wilderness!) bahaha and then one of the procession, with the Catholic Church in the corner.

Alright well I love you! And will probably write more, but have a great week, I really miss you guys but I love it out here! Just know that and continue in the work and just living your lives. Are you progressing every day? Or are you plateauing? And leveling off? We need to be progressing little by little every day; we aren’t going to make huge changes day by day, but huge changes little by little every day!

Hey!! so to answer your questions in the email... basically our whole mission is in the cap, there are 9 zones total, 4 outside and 5 inside, the zones outside are a lot smaller in numbers, if there are 200 missionaries 120 are in the capital, I am very lucky to be outside of the cap and for as long as I have been, it is an almost guarantee that I will serve in the cap, there are missionaries that have only served inside for their whole mission. Everyone wants outside of the cap. Changes are next Wednesday April 18th, and we find out late in the night next Monday, I will text you again if you want. and as far as skyping on mother’s day, it all depends on my area, if I have changes or not, also with the day if you work that day I’m sure I can get special permission from president to call you a different day, I just need to ask him, want me to ask him? And yes I did go to japan with the mayor’s dad; he was such a stud, a really nice genuine guy. And about our baptism the lady that was sick, she said ever since her baptism she has felt better then she ever has before! Before she couldn’t wash (they hand wash here) or nothing but now she is perfectly normal! How cool is that! The Blessings of GOD!

Just so you know I think I told you before but we can now email whoever we want, there is no rule against that. Did you ever figure out that weird email saying she wanted to link my website? What was that about? My address is the same that I gave you for Christmas, 5th Ave. 1-38 zona 1 Teculutan. But I doubt that will work, so the catholic church, go 2 streets down (toward the river) (I don’t know No, E, So, West here) then on that road go towards the mountains and you will see a huge lot with a small building in the corner with a green roof, that is the church, then one block (toward the capital) is where we live, I doubt that helps hahaha but ya…And I have a ton of photos from the waterfalls last week that I want to up load probably next week! Please be careful, I really miss you guys and don’t want anything to happen!
Love You!
Elder Call

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Family Baptized!!!

FAMILY! So this week was like a super crazy week I feel like so much happened!  But first off items of business, I can email whoever now, there isn’t a rule against that anymore, SO EMAIL ME, (but I still do love letters) Dad so glad you got the map, now you can always see where I’m at! Ok, don’t laugh but I got me a nice pans (belly) my comp says I look like a mini dad and it is only going to get worse, so how can I get rid of it? I’m in one of the hottest areas of the mission and we are walking a ton every day, so what is going to happen when I go to the capital where it is cooler and the areas are smaller?! I’m going to explode!! Also what is the purpose of vitamin E? Maybe that’s why I’m gaining weight? Also other question, I have a bunch of medicine from home and now or before I end my mission it will expire, so question is are they still good after the expiration date? Tylenol expired like in August last year, so ya....

Ok well I will just start with Monday and go from there! Monday was the worst p day, we literally did nothing and it was SO boring! I guess that’s what you get when you’re in the most spread out zone in the mission. Tuesday just a normal day, Wednesday we had interviews with President, he came here to Teculutan, and I don’t know what or why, but our interviews are always so short, because really everything is just going great, so we talk for a little, ask if there is anything he can do and ya, they are always short and sweet, but he is such a man! After I went on divisions with the ZL Elder Bitters he is just the most giant gringo in the world! But we did nothing, we had to travel to Guastatoya to do a baptismal interview, then we did one on our area and then we ate the most delicious flour tortillas, I’m going to take you guys to this restaurant when you guys come here, it really is SO GOOD!

So Friday we had a baptism!!! Actually 2, a family, they are such golden investigators and so ready for this change in their lives. I baptized him, and he is HUGE! He is such a beast, I’m sure it was a little funny seeing little Call baptizing him but everything went just great. And my comp baptized her. They went to conference and he was asking what he needs to do to receive the priesthood! So stoked for them! Saturday the conference was great, but they didn’t have keys to the computers so we watched the first session in Spanish, I could understand it but I just don’t get as much out of it, because I am focusing on what they are saying and so it is harder to receive the revelation, but then they got keys for the second session so we watched it in English over the Internet! It was so great! I forgot my notes so I can’t tell all about them today but I really liked the talk about not judging, a lot! and also about pride, that one really got to my comp which is good, I can already see a difference, (and he told me that too so don’t think I’m judging:)) we watched priesthood in Spanish again because they don’t have that on Internet, but again it was great! and to think everyone all over the world are watching the same session is a pretty cool thought, we are all singing the same song, how crazy is that to think about? I feel like a reoccurring theme was unrighteous dominion, and how we need to respect everyone, love everyone, don’t judge, be the one to end the grudges. Basically just become more like Christ! That is our goal. Every situation that we are caught in we can always ask (I know this sounds cheesy but it’s true) but remember the bracelets that said what would Jesus do? Ya ask that to yourself every time, and really try to do the right thing all though it probably won’t be the easiest thing.

Oh we ate dominos in between the sessions and it was so good! I love American food!! Sometimes I feel like I am deprived, but then I realize nope I love the beans and eggs every day! At the Sunday conference we saw the San Jorge branch because we all went to Zacapa and holy cow how I miss that area! The members were so excited to see me, and I truly can say I love them, I love the members there and want the best for them, we had such an impact on them, and they on us! The Sister missionaries there want me to come and show them all our old investigators so if president gives us permission we are going to go! And also a member there asked me if I would baptize her because she just turned 8, so we will see if we get permission!

I am sick I have some sinus pressure and a cold, I feel like Dad when he would walk around with the mucus just hanging down from his nose, we both have it, and I don’t know how we got a cold because it is blazing hot! I couldn't sleep last night, I woke up just soaked in sweat, looked at the temp 87 NBD, it is starting to get ridiculous how hot it is! But that is what makes it fun right?

Keep your reading up, and you too Dad! DAD READ, Joseph Smith said that book, the Book of Mormon, is the most correct book on the face of the earth, why wouldn't we read it?!?! Alright, well I love you and ya I’m out of time now! So I love you all and keep on having a great week!
Elder Call